Claims of 'post-racial' society and other denials of racism may reflect ignorance of history

Editors' Picks

  • Small-scale World Cup protests continue in Brazil

    Small-scale World Cup protests continue in Brazil

    Small-scale World Cup protests continue in Brazil

    By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Several hundred people marched through Brazil's biggest city on Tuesday in a peaceful protest that was the latest in a series of small demonstrations against the upcoming World Cup. Brazil will host the June 12-July 13 tournament for the first time since 1950 but there is unrest among locals who believe too much money has been spent on preparing for the global showpiece to the detriment of public services such as health, education and transport. …

  • Alex Ferguson's wines expected to score with buyers - Christie's

    Alex Ferguson's wines expected to score with buyers - Christie's

    Alex Ferguson's wines expected to score with buyers - Christie's

    By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - To take his mind off the pressure of "the beautiful game", retired Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson collected vintage wines that will be sold at auction starting in Hong Kong in May, Christie's said on Wednesday. The collection of about 5,000 bottles assembled by one of soccer's most successful managers will be sold along with memorabilia signed by Ferguson and has a pre-sale estimated value of 3 million pounds ($5 million), the auction house said. The …

  • Welbeck, Cleverley and Young fined by David Moyes for drunken night out

    Welbeck, Cleverley and Young fined by David Moyes for drunken night out

    Welbeck, Cleverley and Young fined by David Moyes for drunken night out

    Cleverley, Young and Welbeck have been fined by Moyes after their drunken night out Manchester United boss David Moyes has taken Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young to task after they were pictured dancing in the streets of Manchester in a drunken stupor the same day after their team were beaten 3-1 by Bayern […] …

  • Has unremitted diving blemished Neymar’s image ?

    Has unremitted diving blemished Neymar’s image ?

    Has unremitted diving blemished Neymar’s image ?

    Neymar and his diving - a blemish on his burgeoning reputation? …

  • Jupp Heynckes advices Manchester United target Toni Kroos to stay at Bayern Munich

    Jupp Heynckes advices Manchester United target Toni Kroos to stay at Bayern Munich

    Jupp Heynckes advices Manchester United target Toni Kroos to stay at Bayern Munich

    Jupp Heynckes advices Manchester United target Toni Kroos to stay at Bayern Munich. …

  • Manchester United deny meeting Louis van Gaal

    Manchester United deny meeting Louis van Gaal

    Manchester United deny meeting Louis van Gaal

    Manchester United deny meeting Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal. …

Washington, Jan. 16 (ANI): New research has suggested that commonly observed differences in how groups perceive racism may be explained by ignorance about, and even denial of, the extent of racism over the course of history.

The research, conducted by psychological scientists at the University of Kansas and Texas A and M University, indicates that African Americans had more accurate knowledge of historically documented racism compared to European Americans.

This difference in historical knowledge partially accounted for group differences in perceptions of racism, both at a systemic and an incident-specific level.

"Survey research consistently documents that, relative to White Americans, people from historically oppressed racial and ethnic minority groups tend to report less satisfaction with race relations, see social inequality as a greater problem, and see more racism in incidents, such as legislation targeting undocumented immigrants and 'stand your ground' laws," the researchers said.

The authors note that these perceptions of racism are often treated as exaggerated or delusional.

But theory and research from cultural psychology suggest that differences in how people perceive racism may arise because individuals from minority groups are actually attuned to knowledge that individuals from the majority group lack.

Individuals from the majority group may deny racism in the context of current events because they are ignorant about documented racism from the past.

To assess whether individuals from minority groups might be more attuned to the reality of racism, the researchers adopted methods from work in signal detection theory.

Their research is reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

College students - 199 European American students and 74 African American students - completed a "Black history" test in which they had to judge whether statements about past incidences of racism were true or false.

Some statements discussed well-documented incidents that experts agree are true, representing the factual signal. Other statements concerned incidents that were plausible but fabricated, representing the fictional noise.

The students also completed measures that assessed their self-esteem in relation to their racial identity and their perceptions of both systemic racism and isolated incidents of racism.

As the researchers predicted, historical knowledge was a positive predictor of racism perception for both African Americans and European Americans.

However, as a group, African Americans were more accurate in identifying historically true events.

Compared to European American participants, they identified more factual, but not false, events as true.

Further analyses indicate that greater knowledge of historically documented racism may help to explain, at least in part, the observed relationship between race and perceptions of racism.

The findings also suggest how social identity may influence perception of racism.

African Americans who reported greater relevance of racial identity perceived more racism, while European Americans who reported greater relevance of racial identity perceived less racism.

These associations were stronger for perceptions of systemic racism than for perceptions of racism in isolated incidents.

Together, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that perceptions of racism are influenced by the relevance of one's racial identity. Individuals in the majority group may be less likely to perceive systemic racism because it presents a greater challenge to a mainstream worldview.

Ultimately, this research underscores the importance of historical knowledge - and activities, like Black History Month, that highlight marginalized forms of historical knowledge - for understanding current events.

"Although popular and scientific understandings tend to portray ignorance as a lack of knowledge, this work emphasizes that ignorance itself is a form of knowledge that makes it possible to ignore or remain unaware of things that might otherwise be obvious," the researchers said. (ANI)

Most Popular Stories

  • An Open Letter to Yuvraj Singh

    An Open Letter to Yuvraj Singh

    Sportskeeda
    An Open Letter to Yuvraj Singh

    Dear Yuvi, First off I would like to tell you that I am not a fanboy. I was never your fan and I don’t think I’ll ever be. Indian batsmen with a batting average below 40 do not impress me! But not being a fan does not imply that I don’t admire you or respect […] …

  • Kejriwal is now India’s Mr 5 percent

    Mail Today

    Borrowing the term for former Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, India now has its own 5% man – Arvind Kejriwal. …

  • Indian election elicits keen interest in Pakistan

    IANS

    Lahore, April 16 (IANS) Will Narendra Modi win? Will India get a stable government? What are Arvind Kejriwal's prospects? The questions fly thick and fast in Pakistan, where interest in India's ongoing parliamentary election runs high, for once overriding questions on all other issues including Kashmir. …

  • 'I was not silent on Gujarat riots,' says Modi

    ANI

    Gandhinagar, Apr.16 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, rejected the view that he had remained silent on the February 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, which according to official figures, claimed the lives of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus; "I was not silent, I answered every top journalist in the country from 2002-2007, but noticed there was no exercise to understand truth," Modi told Smita Prakash, …

  • India passes halfway mark in election with BJP gaining strength

    India passes halfway mark in election with BJP gaining strength

    Reuters
    India passes halfway mark in election with BJP gaining strength

    India kicked off the biggest day of its mammoth general election on Thursday, with a quarter of its 815 million voters set to head to the polls during a week of fresh blows for the Congress party and gains for the Hindu nationalist opposition. Narendra Modi, the prime-ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been wooing voters with promises to rescue India from its slowest economic growth in a decade and create jobs for its booming young population. In the …